Update! No. 45, October 2016


Welcome to Issue #45
of FloridaCajunZydeco.com Update!
for October 2016.


This newsletter showcases dance events from the FloridaCajunZydeco.com website and publishes articles not on the website pages.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4 the Cajun and Zydeco Dance will be at Island Vibes in Largo. Marcia Ball makes appearances at Ace’s Live on Oct. 6, Funky Biscuit on Oct. 7, and Daytona Blues Festival on Oct. 8. JB’s Zydeco Zoo plays the BBC on Friday, Oct. 28 for their annual Halloween Party.

Also, check out these stories in this edition: Spotlight on The Louisiana Band Photography of David Simpson, and a farewell to Stanley Dural Jr., aka Buckwheat Zydeco.

We're on Facebook in Groups (Florida Cajun Zydeco Dancers) and with our own Facebook Page (Florida Cajun Zydeco). Check us out and "Like" us to see the posts and reminders throughout the week. This is a good way to get your Cajun and zydeco fix between newsletters.

FloridaCajunZydeco.com loves to travel — in your pocket on your smart phone. Check the website for dance information wherever your travels take you.

Regards, Jim Hance Publisher, FloridaCajunZydeco.com


Tues. Oct. 4 -- Cajun-Zydeco Dance (Largo)


6-9:30 p.m. Island Vibes, 351 West Bay Drive, Largo 33770. Ph. 727-240-4420. No cover charge. Please patronize the restaurant. I will be playing some fine Cajun and zydeco tunes that will keep you dancing. If you have any special requests, let me know. There is parking on the street out in front, behind the restaurant, and on the other side of 4th St. For people who know, it's on the same street as the Pinellas County School Board.  We'll be using the room at the back. The owner is anxious to meet you! Come on by. Check out their menu and location at sweetislandvibes.com


Marcia Ball Tours Florida


Marcia Ball will be appearing at Ace’s Live in Bradenton on Thurs. Oct. 6 and Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Fri. Oct. 7 on her way to Daytona Blues Festival on Sat. Oct. 8.

For those not familiar with Marcia Ball, she grew up in the small town of Vinton, Louisiana, right across the border from Texas. She began taking piano lessons at age five, playing old Tin Pan Alley tunes from her grandmother's collection. From her aunt, Marcia heard more modern and popular music, but it wasn't until she was 13 that Marcia discovered the power of soul music. One day in 1962, she sat amazed while Irma Thomas delivered the most spirited performance the young teenager had ever seen. According to Ball, "She just blew me away; she caught me totally unaware. Once I started my own band, the first stuff I was doing was Irma's." In 1966, she attended Louisiana State University, where she played some of her very first gigs with a blues-based rock band called Gum.

In 1970, Ball set out for San Francisco. Her car broke down in Austin, and while waiting for repairs, she fell in love with the city and decided to stay. It wasn't long before she was performing in local clubs with a progressive country band called Freda And The Firedogs, while beginning to sharpen her songwriting skills. It was around this time that she delved deeply into the music of the great New Orleans piano players, especially Professor Longhair. "Once I found out about Professor Longhair," recalls Ball, "I knew I had found my direction."

Marcia Ball has recorded with Capitol Records and Rounder Records and is currently with Alligator Records. She has been nominated for a Grammy and has been featured on numerous TV programs such as “Austin City Limits” and movies such as Piano Blues and Angels Sing.

The New York Times says, "Marcia Ball plays two-fisted New Orleans barrelhouse piano and sings in a husky, knowing voice about all the trouble men and women can get into on the way to a good time."

The Boston Globe says, ”An irresistible, celebratory blend of rollicking, two-fisted New Orleans piano, Louisiana Swamp rock and smoldering Texas blues from a compelling storyteller."

The Minneapolis Star Tribune says, ”Ball is the bayou queen of the piano, steeped in blues and honky-tonk. When revved... she's a rollicking dynamo spewing heat-seeking triplets from the ivories while her horn-driven band wails. She's also a subtle songwriter and a formidable singer with a wisp of huskiness edging her Cajun-Texan twang."

So now you know.

Thu. Oct. 6, 8 p.m. Ace’s Live, 4343 Palma Sola Boulevard, Bradenton, FL
Opening for Marcia Ball will be Gumbo Boogie (listed start time 7 p.m.) Dancers, get there early.

Fri. Oct. 7, 9 p.m. at Funky Biscuit, 303 Southeast Mizner Blvd. #59, Boca Raton, FL

Sat. Oct. 8, 9 p.m. at Daytona Blues Festival, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, 105 Orange Ave., Daytona Beach, FL
Mon., Oct. 10, 8 p.m. at Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave., NE, Atlanta, GA



Dikki Du and The Zydeco Krewe Returns to Ace's


Dikki Du (Troy Carrier) played washboard with his dad, the great Roy Carrier, and then C.J. Chenier for two years. He played drums behind his brother Chubby Carrier, for a few years before picking up the accordion and starting his own band, Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe, about  twelve years ago. He played at Ace's Live in Bradenton in July, and he was sensational!

8 p.m. at Ace’s Live, 4343 Palma Sola Blvd., Bradenton, Florida 34209. Phone 941-795-3886.

Dikki Du (Troy Carrier) was born in 1969 in Church Point, Louisiana and discovered his love for zydeco music at the tender age of nine. Troy’s brother Chubby Carrier started a family band and offered Troy a job playing the drums. Troy toured with his brother from the late 80’s until the 90’s when he returned home to pick up the accordion. It has now been nineteen years that Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe have been on the scene. Dikki Du has incorporated his musical heritage with unique experience to create one of the most innovative zydeco groups around. His original funky and hypnotic zydeco style announces that he has arrived, occupying a spot on par with the best.”  On his last trip to the area Dikki brought his sons with him. Let’s hope he can do the same this time. Let’s come out and support this venue again and help bring more Zydeco music to our area.  Website: http://aceslivemusic.com


Spotlight on:

The Louisiana Band Photography
of David Simpson

Eunice, Louisiana is pretty much the center of Cajun culture. Eunice is famous for its Cajun music, and in November 1997 the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum was founded there. The City of Eunice and the National Park Service sponsor “Laissez les bons temps rouler au rendezvous des cajuns,” a live Cajun music show every Saturday night at the Liberty Theatre. Eunice is home to the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center. Eunice is host to one of the largest Courir de Mardi Gras (a traditional rural French Louisiana Mardi Gras observance), as well as the World Championship Crawfish Étouffée Cook-off.

Eunice is also the home of Louisiana State University Eunice. David Simpson lived in Eunice nearly 30 years, teaching English at the campus, without being exposed to the Cajun and Creole cultures, or even being infected by their powerful and emotional music. As fate would have it though, he would learn more than he had ever imagined about the local cultures and the music.

He took on a volunteer project of posting tourism-related events to LSU’s new website in 1996, and rural Mardi Gras events were among the local offerings. In 1999 Simpson attended a performing arts series at his school which featured the Magnolia Sisters, and he purchased their CD, Prends Courage. He studied the French and English lyrics from the liner notes, and appreciated the stories the songs told.

A month later he attended Lafayette’s Festival International and was further impressed by Christine Balfa’s “strong, passionate voice combined with the intense, aching sadness of the twin fiddles” that compelled him to find out what the words meant. “I discovered that Will Balfa’s lyrics were, if anything, even more intense than the music. The singer is determined to find the woman he loves or die in the last drop of his last blood. He discovers her with another man and then proclaims that if he had five days left to live, he would give up three just to spend the last two days with her and then die in her arms.” It was at this event that Simpson began photographing the artists of his community, starting with Balfa Toujours and Geno Delafose, and learning more about the rich musical culture that was all around him.


As an extension of his public relations activities at LSU, he began posting pages to the LSU website featuring background information on the musicians of the area. Then newspapers began requesting use of some of his images, and he compiled CDs of his photos for the media. Then in 2008, he uploaded sets of photos to Flickr, which have now grown to 29,000 indexed high resolution images.

His images have been used by regional newspapers such as offBeat, and some artist CD covers including Kevin Naquin’s 2004 release, Never Satisfied (Jamais Satisfait). But Simpson says he is especially proud of having some of his images included in the book One Generation at a Time: Biography of a Cajun and Creole Music Festival by master photographer Philip Gould. Gould also chose a number of Simpson’s photo images for an art museum exhibit at University of Louisiana at Lafayette titled “Visions of Tradition: 40 Years of Festivals Acadians et Creoles.”

More than fifteen years behind the lens has left indelible impressions on Simpson by musical artists he has come to appreciate. “Going to photograph Geno Delafose at a benefit dance at the Church of the Assumption Parish Hall in Basile is another fond memory. The wooden floor shook and rocked like we were at sea.”

Another memory is that of a Creole jam session in Basile at a muffler shop. “Marcel [Fontenot] had his drum set up in one corner, and the musicians used a U-Haul dolly as a mic stand.”

Simpson got to witness Boozoo Chavis on stage one time. “If anything, he more than lived up to his legendary status. In the sweltering plus-100-degree heat at the 2000 Original Southwest Louisiana Zydeco Festival in Plaisance, Boozoo not only commanded the stage, he also held an interview session with Herman Fuselier holding nothing back in letting people know how he felt about his music and his life.”

He attends Saturday shows at the Liberty Theater in Eunice, hosted until recent years by Barry Ancelet, “both because the programs feature some great music from a variety of bands, and because of the interaction between the host and the band members. Terry Huval and the Jambalaya Cajun Band, in particular, have put on some outstanding shows.”

Simpson says he is heartened by the emergency of young musicians, many of them from families with a rich musical heritage. “With bands and musicians like the Pine Leaf Boys, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Roddie Romero and the Hub City All Stars, Feufollet, Bonsoir Catin, T-Salé, Kira Viator and Bayou Beat, Forest Huval, Bubba Hebert, Sarah Jayde Williams, the Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Kevin Naquin and the Ossun Playboys, Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin’ Cajuns, Kyle Huval and the Dixie Club Ramblers, Briggs Brown and the Bayou Cajuns, plus many more, the music will certainly still be around for a long time if it continues to get the support it deserves…. The next generation of Creole and Zydeco musicians like Keith Frank, Chris Ardoin, Nathan Williams Jr., Jeffery Broussard, Curley Taylor, Wayne Singleton, Terry Domingue, Joe Hall, and, of course, Geno Delafose, to name just a few, are preserving and revitalizing the past or creating their own unique music.”

Before 1999 David Simpson knew little of Cajun and Creole music. Now that music and experiencing the live performances of that music by musicians fully immersed in Cajun and Creole cultures is a cherished part of his life. “I continue to find in the music a heartfelt directness and emotional depth that most pop music lacks. The joy and the sorrow are real. When Creole accordionist Goldman Thibodeaux titled his first CD Les Misères dans le Coeur, he was truly singing from the heart, from his own experience, and, in the process, giving thanks for the blessings that life offers along with the pain. Even when they have not lived everything they sing about, the younger musicians are close enough to their roots in their families and in their culture that their voices carry truths that are authentic, not manufactured for a mass audience. There is, of course, other roots music elsewhere that has a comparable power and intensity, but our role in Louisiana should be to enjoy and support our own very rich, amazing cultures that we have inherited and that we need to preserve.”

You can view more of David Simpson’s photography of Cajun and Creole artists at indexed at www.cajunzydecophotos.com. Or find him most any week at Rendezvous des Cajuns show at the Liberty Theatre in Eunice. He plans to be at Festivals Acadians et Creoles this month, with his camera no doubt.


Fund Drive for Louisiana Flood Victims


Wednesday Sept. 21 seven bands played "real good for free" in order to raise relief funds for Louisiana bands and their families beset by recent floods. The bands included Bayou Brothers, Euphoria Brass Band, Sue Palmer, Theo and The Zydeco Patrol, Mercedes Moore, Casey Hensley and Naked Eye. The venue was Tio Leo's Lounge in San Diego.

According to Jan Maxted, a longtime board member of the Bon Temps Social Club of San Diego, “The Louisiana Musicians' Fund Raiser at Tio Leo's was a blast! Great music from seven different bands (plus interesting combinations of musicians from several bands), lots of enthusiastic dancers and other party animals, and plenty of generosity in the air. Thanks to Ric Lee and Peter Oliver for putting all the pieces in place for the party (along with the Gator by the Bay staff, I'm sure), thanks to all of the musicians who donated their time and talent to make it happen, to Greg for teaching a lesson, for everyone who donated raffle prizes and lastly to Tio Leo's who donated the 'gate' to our efforts. And thanks from all who attended and spent lavishly on raffle tickets! An all-around terrific event!”

And the collection of funds for Louisiana musicians and their families affected by the flood continues. If you would like to contribute, visit http://gatorbythebay.com/louisiana-flood-relief-fund/


What You Get With Twin Accordion Players


Twin 25-year-old brothers Benjamin and Bervick Guillory have created a band they call Double Trouble Zydeco in Mallet, LA. They are shirt-tail relatives of Chubby Carrier.

As a freshman in high school, Ben started to develop a real interest in the music, and particularly the music of Beau Jocque, Boozoo Chavis, Clifton Chenier, Buckwheat Zydeco, and many others. As boys they would sneak into every club that would let them through the door just to hear the live zydeco bands coming through town. After some pleading with their mother, Ben got an accordion of his own for Christmas. After a good deal of practice, Ben thought his brother, Berv, should play too, and they would start the first twin accordion band with real twins! Bervick told Ben, "I'm not the man on the bandstand. That's Keith Frank! We won't ever be able to do what those other guys do." It took some talking, but finally Ben talked Berv into trying. That was the birth of Double Trouble Zydeco.
They practiced their music, and then came time for their first public show. Double Trouble Zydeco made their debut at the Zydeco Extravaganza held on Memorial Day Weekend in Lafayette. They recall being back stage and running into Buckwheat Zydeco. Buckwheat asked if they were about to play, and he decided to stay so he could "see what they were working with.” Ben says that after their performance, Buckwheat came to them, reached his hand out as if to give a handshake, and instead gave him a big hug. He told them they did a great job, and that he really saw potential in the twins. His advice was to always stay true to their roots and they would do fine.

Here is a sample of the band on youtube featuring twin accordions and two rubboard players. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7M5M1HD-mI

Double Trouble Zydeco has posted a number of videos over the past several years of their performances on Youtube. Their website is doubletroublezydeco.com/music.html




Florida Bands in October


Florida bands Gumbo Boogie, Porchdogs and JB’s Zydeco Zoo are appearing at the following locations in October:

Oct. 1:  Porchdogs at International Festival (Palm Coast)
Oct. 8: Gumbo Boogie Band at Saturday Morning Market (St. Pete)
Oct. 13: Porchdogs at Biketoberfest (Ormond Beach)
Oct. 21: Porchdogs at Lake Wales Rifest (Lake Wales)
Oct. 22: Gumbo Boogie at Clancy’s (Bradenton)
Oct. 23: Gumbo Boogie at Ace’s Live (Bradenton)
Oct. 28: JB’s Zydeco Zoo Halloween Party at BBC (Tallahassee)

For more information, visit floridacajunzydeco.com/calendar.html


Festivals in October and November


Find a list of festival events throughout the United States at floridacajunzydeco.com/festivals

October 1, 2016 — The Creole United Festival (Sausalito, CA)
Artists include Grammy-nominated Andre Thierry, Step Rideau and The Zydeco Outlaws, Porter Williams and Vibrasón.
October 13-16, 2016 — Festivals Acadiens et Creoles (Lafayette)
Festivals Acadiens et Creoles in Lafayette, LA. Celebrate the rhythm of Cajun and Creole life at Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.

October 13-16, 2016 — Suwannee Roots Revival
Bands include Donna the Buffalo, Sam Bush, The Wood Brothers, Leftover Salmon, Peter Rowan Band, Jim Dauderdale, Verlon Thompson, and many more. Live Oak, Florida 32060.

Sat. Oct 8 --- Marcia Ball at Daytona Blues Festival
at Daytona Blues Festival, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, 105 East Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.

October 21-23, 2016 — Musicport (UK)
The Mahotella Queens (S. Africa), the Blockheads, Lynched  (Eire), Kathryn Tickell and The Side, Soupsongs Live.

October 29-30, 2016 --- South Louisiana Blackpot Festival and Cookoff
(Lafayette, LA)
Bands include Feufollet, The Revelers, Caleb Klauder Country Band with special guest Courtney Granger, Lil Buck Sinegal, Los Texmaniacs, Freetown Aces, Ed Poullard and Preston Frank, Pineleaf Boys, Square Dance with Clelia Stefanini and Nancy Spero calling.

Nov. 10-13, 2016 --- Riverhawk Music Festival (Brooksville, FL)
Bands include Travelin' McCourys, Delta Rae, Solas, Driftwood, Cornmeal, Shiny Ribs, Grandpa's Cough Medicine, The Honeycutters.

Nov. 6-13, 2016 --- Carnival Dream Dance Cruise (Henderson, Louisiana)
Dance Cruise with Geno Delafose & French Rockin Boogie.

Sat. Dec. 3, 2016 --- Al Berard Music Fest (Henderson, Louisiana)
Bands include Horace Trahan and The Ossun Express, Michael Juan Nunez, Major Handy & Lil' Buck, Traiteurs Reunion with Sonny Landreth, and Lafayette Parish Gifted and Talented Students.


Outside Florida


Marcia Ball in Atlanta

Mon., Oct. 10, 8 p.m. at Ponce City Market, 675 Ponce De Leon Ave., NE, Atlanta, GA


Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association

ACZA will be hosting the following bands over the next several months:
Oct. 1  --- Zydeco T
October  29 --- Roux du Bayou (ACZA Halloween Party and Dance)

Benson Center, 6500 Vernon Woods Drive, Sandy Springs, GA 30328; Phone: 404-613-4900. Free beginners dance lesson 7-8 p.m. Free intermediate dance lesson 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dance to live music 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

December 3 --- Jambalaya Cajun Band (ACZA Holiday Party and Dance)

The Atlanta Cajun Zydeco Association (ACZA) would like to remind dancers traveling to Atlanta that there is information about a hotel discount for out-of-town dancers on their website (http://aczadance.org/). “It’s the hotel where the bands stay when they play for us.”


A True Showman Has Passed


Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr. of Carencro, leader of the Grammy- and Emmy-winning band Buckwheat Zydeco, died at 1:32 a.m. on September 24, 2016 in Lafayette, Louisiana. Dural, who had battled lung cancer, was 68.

For more than 35 years, Stanley Dural Jr. exposed more people on the planet to zydeco than any other artist. Buckwheat played with everyone from Eric Clapton and U2 to Robert Plant and The Boston Pops. Buckwheat Zydeco performed in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which reached a TV audience of 3 billion people. He played at both inaugurations for former President Bill Clinton, and for countless commercials and TV shows, such as "The Late Show with David Letterman" and the last episode of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Because of Stanley Dural Jr. and his band, Buckwheat Zydeco, the native music of southwest Louisiana had a global impact.

Dural’s longtime manager, Ted Fox, notes, “Many people in Louisiana know that Buck was a musical legend and the preeminent ambassador of zydeco music. For others around the world, if they got into zydeco music, or felt its influence, or watched the world celebrate this great aspect of Louisiana culture over the past 30-plus years, it’s likely been because of Buckwheat Zydeco.”

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. was born in Lafayette, LA on November 14, 1947. He acquired his nickname because, with his braided hair, he looked like Buckwheat from The Little Rascals. His father was an accomplished, non-professional traditional Creole accordion player, but young Buckwheat preferred listening to and playing R&B. He became proficient at the organ, and by the late 1950s was backing Joe Tex, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and many others. In 1971, he formed Buckwheat and The Hitchhikers, a 15-piece funk and soul band. They were a local sensation and found success with the single, “It’s Hard To Get,” recorded for a local Louisiana-based label.

Never a traditional zydeco fan growing up, Buckwheat nonetheless accepted an invitation in 1976 to join Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band as organist. He quickly discovered the joy and power of zydeco music, and marveled at the effect the music had on the audience. “Everywhere, people young and old just loved zydeco music,” Buckwheat said. “I had so much fun playing that first night with Clifton. We played for four hours and I wasn’t ready to quit.”

Buckwheat’s relationship with the legendary Chenier led him to take up the accordion in 1978. After woodshedding for a year, he felt ready to start his own band under the name Buckwheat Zydeco, and began his recording career with the small Blues Unlimited label. By the mid-1980s there were more offers to perform than he could possibly accept. Recordings for Black Top and Rounder followed before Buckwheat befriended New York-based journalist Ted Fox, who championed Buckwheat to Chris Blackwell at Island Records in 1986. Buckwheat Zydeco signed a five-record deal and Fox became and remained his manager and frequent producer. The success of these records kept Buckwheat Zydeco on the road and in constant demand.

In 1988, Eric Clapton invited the band to open his North American tour as well as his 12-night stand at London’s Royal Albert Hall. As even more doors opened, Buckwheat found himself sharing stages and/or recording with Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, David Hidalgo, Dwight Yoakam, Paul Simon, Ry Cooder and many others, including indie music stalwarts Yo La Tengo on the soundtrack to the Bob Dylan bio-pic, “I’m Not There.” His music has been featured in films ranging from The Waterboy, The Big Easy, Fletch Lives and Hard Target. BET’s Comic View used his live version of "What You Gonna Do?" as theme music for the program’s 10th anniversary “Pardi Gras” season. He co-wrote and performed the theme song for the PBS television series Pierre Franey’s Cooking In America. Buckwheat won an Emmy for his music in the CBS TV movie, Pistol Pete: The Life And Times Of Pete Maravich. Buckwheat Zydeco played every major music festival in the world, including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (numerous times), Newport Folk Festival, Summerfest, San Diego Street Scene, Bumbershoot, Montreux Jazz Festival and countless others. Buckwheat won a Grammy for the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album in 2009 for the album, Lay Your Burden Down, which featured Trombone Shorty, Sonny Landreth and other stars.

“He had this incredible charisma both onstage and personally," Fox said. "To the end of his days with all the stuff that he'd done, all the awards, he was still the same Stanley Dural Jr. who was picking cotton when he was five years old."

Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. is survived by his wife Bernite Dural and their daughter Tomorrow Lynn Dural; sons Sir Reginald M. Dural (who played rubboard and keyboards in his band) and Stanley Paul Dural III, daughters April Germain Dural, and Stacie Durham.

There has been a GoFundMe account for the family to help with all of the expenses of Buckwheat's hospital stay and the flooding that affected his family home. If you are interested in contributing, go to this link.



If you missed last month's newsletter...

Discover all of the Update! newsletters and feature stories on Cajun and zydeco artists on the "Stories" page at floridacajunzydeco.com/stories.html